EU water policy has successfully contributed to water protection over the past three decades. However, in many regions in Europe, this precious resource is coming under increasing pressure, in particular from economic activities. We need to make sure that EU legislation is fit to respond to these new challenges. This is why the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources, presented by the Commission in November 2012, reiterates the need to place the management of Europe’s water resources into a wider perspective, addressing all users of water as well as water’s interactions with other... resources, such as land and energy. If not sustainably managed, water use may exceed the carrying capacity of our environment, thereby damaging or destroying aquatic ecosystems, while having negative impacts on human health. This is why it is important that all sectors that use water resources, such as industry, agriculture, tourism, urban development and energy production, are sustainably managed. It is only by working across these sectors that we can ensure the availability of good-quality water for present and future generations. This goal is already enshrined in the EU water framework directive adopted in 2000. The water blueprint facilitates its implementation by identifying remaining obstacles and ways to overcome them. The blueprint proposal, which has been endorsed by EU Member States in their conclusions of December 2012, is now reflected in the work programme of the common implementation strategy under the water framework directive. This is an open and participatory process in which the Commission, Member States and stakeholders work together to improve the implementation of EU water policy. The blueprint has set the EU water policy agenda for the years to come. It is now time to work together at all levels to ensure better implementation, increase policy integration and close remaining policy gaps.